Writer celebrates cult TV show at 50

Author Brian Gorman with his graphic novel Everyman
Author Brian Gorman with his graphic novel Everyman

A Wigan writer will enjoy a double launch celebration for work based on his favourite cult TV show made 50 years ago.

Brian Gorman is releasing his revamped graphic novel Everyman, about the life of Patrick McGoohan who created mysterious spy drama The Prisoner, and an audio CD version of the work.

The launch event in Manchester this weekend is particularly apt as it falls amid the celebrations marking half a century since The Prisoner was made.

The tale of a secret agent who resigns his job and wakes up in a mysterious and sinister village, its mixture of sci-fi, drama and psychedelia coupled with philosophy and allegory was like nothing previously seen on British TV but has proved highly influential on screenwriters and directors.

Brian says the show remains his favourite TV series of all time and spoke of his fascination with the life of its writer McGoohan, who gave up a star-studded career at the very top of the industry to pursue his unusual vision for the programme.

He said: “He was the biggest star in British TV doing a show called Danger Man and he then took a big chance to do The Prisoner which blew everybody’s minds.

“There was nothing like it at the time. It had everything that shows like The Saint had; a cracking ‘60s theme tune, outrageous action adventure and psychedelia. However, The Prisoner was a lot deeper, every episode had multiple meanings.

“It’s as relevant today as it ever was, even though things like the clothing have obviously aged. It’s all about the individual and the human condition, our inability to escape from ourselves and the world.

“He put everything into it and admitted he had several nervous breakdowns making it. I can’t think of any other TV series where the leading man is also the executive producer and the writer and director of a lot of the episodes.

“He never really did anything comparable again, he moved to the USA and became a jobbing actor.

“There were a lot of surprises in researching the book. Almost everything that happened in his life fed into the TV show, it’s almost autobiographical in a way.”

Brian created the graphic novel after doing a one-man show about The Prisoner in 2010, which has since been performed across the north of England and at Portmeirion in Wales, where the series was filmed.

He is now releasing a new version of the book courtesy of indie publisher Invisible Six and it has also been turned into a sound-only version by Giles Bastow for All Roads Meet working with Quoit Media.

The book tells of McGoohan’s upbringing in a very poor Irish family, his refusal to follow his mother’s wish that he become a priest and his rise through acting to create his masterpiece.

Saturday night’s launch event will include an audio-visual display of Brian’s artwork and a question-and-answer session.

Brian’s other work includes a previous graphic novel Borderliners and a popular stage play about iconic band

Joy Division.

Everyman will be launched on Saturday. To find out more visit www.invisiblesix.co.uk